Massive Predictions: Crew at Charlotte FC

The Columbus Crew is on the road after a rescued point from a late goal from Homegrown midfielder Sean Zawadzki last week. The Black & Gold travel to Charlotte, North Carolina to play against Charlotte FC on Saturday night.

Charlotte FC sits in 14th place in the Eastern Conference with six points through eight games played. The team comes into this match following a 2-2 tie against the Colorado Rapids in the previous game.

On the injury front, the Crew has upgraded the availability of striker Cucho Hernandez and goalkeeper Eloy Room to questionable for Week 9. This leaves Black & Gold head coach Wilfried Nancy wih a possible positive predicament going into Saturday’s match: if Room is healthy, does he earn the start against Charlotte after the impressive play of Patrick Schulte? During Room’s time injured, 2022 MLS Next Pro Goalkeeper of the Year Schulte has taken his place, going 3-1-1.

Can the Crew return to winning ways on the road against Charlotte? The Massive Report staff makes their predictions ahead of Saturday’s match.

Austin Mucchetti

The 1-1 draw with the New England Revolution last weekend put the Black & Gold up to the test for the first time in a while. After three successive wins, it seemed as though Wilfried Nancy’s side couldn’t put a foot wrong. After a late equalizer against the now first-placed Eastern Conference team, the Crew hopes to capitalize on their matchup with Charlotte FC. Charlotte currently sits in 14th place in the East while the Black & Gold remain in fourth on 14 points. I expect the Crew to bounce back with a statement win away from home.

Columbus Crew 3 Charlotte FC 0

Collin Johnson

The Crew has gotten some very fortunate scheduling during the team’s time without Cucho Hernandez and a few others. That trend continues as the team treks down to Charlotte to face the second-worst team in the Eastern Conference. Typical “road wins are very difficult in MLS” disclaimer aside, this match is a near must-win in the still early part of the season. The Black & Gold need to take care of business now so that they have a solid cushion to build on when Hernandez returns. Wilfried Nancy has shown a knack for pushing his teams to win on the road (just look at CF Montreal from 2022) so here’s the perfect opportunity to work that magic. 

Columbus Crew 2 Charlotte FC 0

Adam Miller

Columbus looks to stay hot after a late equalizer last week against the New England Revolution. I think the team will when traveling to Charlotte. Last year, the Crew completely choked away on its (second) trip to Charlotte. I expect Columbus to have a hold in this game as well. The Crew will score first thanks to Christian Ramirez before Lucas Zelarayan wraps things up for the Black & Gold. 

Columbus Crew 2 Charlotte FC 0

Caleb Denorme

The Crew travels down south to take on Charlotte FC in a game that fans of the Black & Gold can only hope will have good weather, unlike last year. Columbus pulled out a draw late last week to keep their unbeaten streak at home alive, but these are the must-win games going forward. Charlotte is only above CF Montreal in the Eastern Conference, so getting three points is a must for the Crew. Road games against weak teams are matches that playoff-caliber teams have to capitalize on. I think the Crew will do that. Patrick Shulte has been playing well in goal and the Black & Gold still look dangerous in attack. This will be a good test for Wilfried Nancy’s side.

Columbus Crew 2 Charlotte FC 0

Drew McDaniel

The Crew travels to take on Charlotte FC and will get back to winning ways. Charlotte has struggled out of the gate and Columbus has punished those teams over the last few weeks. Charlotte will not provide the offensive pressure to pin the Crew back, as the Black & Gold hold a significant possession advantage. Midfielder Darlington Nagbe finally gets on the score sheet for Columbus while playmakers Alexandru Matan and Lucas Zelarayan score the other two goals. 

Columbus Crew 3 Charlotte FC 0

Ryan Schmitt

The Crew is on the road again where the team’s track record isn’t always the best. However, Charlotte sits second-to-last in the Eastern Conference with six points, a near opposite to the season the Crew has had. With forward Cucho Hernandez and goalkeeper Eloy Room possibly returning to the starting lineup, it’ll be interesting to see how the Crew lines up. Columbus will win the game while playing beautiful soccer.

Columbus Crew 2 Charlotte FC 0

Patrick Murphy

The Crew has played well this year against teams near the bottom of the standings. Charlotte fits that description. However, I think Charlotte is a better team than the record indicates and has the potential to turn things around at any moment. It will be up to the Black & Gold to make sure this doesn’t happen on Saturday night.

I’m always hesitant to pick Columbus on the road, even after the game against D.C. United a couple of weeks ago. This was exacerbated by the New England Revolution potentially giving a blueprint on how to handle Wilfried Nancy’s Crew team (attack wide behind the wing backs). I think we see an exciting game but one where neither team leaves all that pleased with the final result.

Columbus Crew 2 Charlotte FC 2

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